The Funeral of Milt Jackson
of Detroit's greatest jazz artists, Milt Jackson, passed away
on October 9 in New Jersey. The Bergen Record of Hackensack,
New Jersey, featured an account of his funeral in an
article by Jim Beckerman on October 15. The funeral was held
October 14 in New York at Harlem's historic Abyssinian Baptist Church.
Among the crowd of 700
were: drummer Max Roach, bassist Milt Hinton, bassist Ray Brown, trombonist
J.J.Johnson, trombonist Al Grey, singer Annie Ross, tenorist Stanley
Turrentine, bassist Ron Carter, pianist Randy Weston, pianist Billy
Taylor, tenorist Jimmy Heath, trumpeter Jon Faddis, drummer Kenny Washington,
pianist Tommy Flanagan, bassist Larry Ridley, singer Etta Jones, Atlantic
records founder Ahmet Ertegun, and Newport Jazz Festival creator George
Bassist Percy Heath,
one of the two surviving members of the Modern Jazz Quartet, was quoted
as saying: "I loved him, and I'm very fortunate to have spent time with
him." ABC newscaster Peter Jennings was also in attendance and it is
probably no coincidence that ABC's evening newscast featured a segment
on Jackson's contributions. It is not common for television media to
pay attention to the passing of jazz artists. The service also featured
Jimmy Heath playing "Round Midnight" and Tommy Flanagan on "Souvenir."
Jackson died at 76 of
liver cancer and leaves behind Sandra, his wife of 41 years, daughter
Chyrise, and three brothers, Alvin, Wilbur, and James.
A tribute to Jackson
is planned for Baker's Keyboard Lounge in Detroit on October 24, as
we go to press.